Challenges in the diagnosis of blunt cardiac injuries

Dipti Agarwal, Subhash Chandra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction Blunt thoracic injuries (BTIs) are directly responsible for 20-25% of all deaths, worldwide. Involvement of heart in BTIs is largely underestimated and ignored, but reasonable estimate would be around 15%. This study was planned to emphasize on clinical-presentation and diagnosis of blunt cardiac injuries (BCIs). Results Clinical presentation of BCIs, varied from mild chest discomfort to haemodynamic shock secondary to rapid exsanguinations. Non-specific presentation with associated injuries diverts physician's attention and delayed appearance of clinical features makes diagnosis further difficult. Cardiac markers and ECG are not specific, but high sensitivity of 100% could be reached using combination of elevated cardiactroponin levels and alterations in ECG. Transoesophageal or transthoracic echocardiography, angiography, intravascular ultrasound and nuclear scan have proven to detect cardiac injuries in BTIs, but lack specificity. Conclusion Patients with suspicious-ECG finding need cardiac-monitoring for at least 24 hours. Haemodynamically stable young (<55 years) subjects, without underlying cardiac diseases and with normal-ECG and cardiac marker, could be discharged safely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalIndian Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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